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Senate Fails to Override Trump Veto Of Iran War Powers Resolution

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks to reporters just after the Senate voted to approve the bipartisan measure limiting President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran. February 13, 2020

One day after President Donald Trump vetoed a bi-partisan resolution aimed at curbing his war-making powers, the Senate failed to override the veto.

The chamber needed two-thirds to overturn the veto, but only 44 senators voted in favor and 49 opposed the move.

The original resolution was passed to stop Trump from initiating any conflict with Iran, but the president vetoed it on May 6, calling the effort and “insulting” and an attempt to divide the Republicans ahead of the fall presidential elections.

That resolution said the president cannot commit U.S. forces to hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military without explicit authorization from Congress.

The measure stemmed from fears among both Trump's Republicans and Democrats that Trump was at risk of stumbling into war with the Islamic Republic after the targeted killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimni in Baghdad on January 3. The administration argued that the shadowy general posed an imminent threat, but some democrats were not convinced.

After Trump administration briefed lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a vote on the resolution, calling the killing of Soleimani “provocative and disproportionate.”

The resolution's chief sponsor, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, said the war powers measure was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.

“It's not insulting. It's our job,'' he said ahead of Thursday's vote. The measure was introduced "to stop an unnecessary war,'' Kaine said.

Trump's move is the second time he has vetoed congressional restrictions on his military initiatives.

Last year he blocked a resolution to end US support for Saudi Arabia's offensive in Yemen.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP